Writer and Author Clint Smith Will Give Teach-In Keynote on Feb. 24

February 21, 2022 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

An aerial photograph of the Elmhurst College campus shows Kranz Forum and the Frick Center in the foreground, with Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel in the background.Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic, a poet, and author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America.

Clint Smith, acclaimed author and poet

Clint Smith

On Thursday, Feb. 24, “How the Word is Passed: A Conversation with Clint Smith” will be presented in a remote format as the keynote address of this year’s Niebuhr Center Teach-In at Elmhurst University.

The conversation will be facilitated by Janice Tuck Lively, a professor in the Department of English at Elmhurst University, where she teaches beginning and advanced fiction writing, creative non-fiction, and multicultural postcolonial literature.

Smith’s poetry collection Counting Descent won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation.

Janice Tuck Lively

Janice Tuck Lively

His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.

Lively is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as a playwright. Her work celebrates and examines the joys and struggles of Black women’s lives, and has appeared in such literary journals as Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, Jet Fuel Review and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. She is a 2019 Illinois Arts Council Literary Award winner and a 2016 Pushcart Award nominee.

“How the Word is Passed” will begin at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24. No RSVPs are necessary to join the remote event. The event also can be viewed at an in-person watch party, which will be held in the Frick Center, Founders Lounge. Seating will be spaced and the event will be viewed on a large screen. Masks will be required.

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